North Stawell Minerals Ltd
The geology and mineralisation of the Magdala and Wonga deposits (Stawell Gold Mines) are very well understood following over 40 years of exploration and mine production. An immense geological and mine production database exists together with historic geophysics and geochemical data from the mine and northern exploration tenure.
NSM is using these robust mine geological models to guide its exploration targeting, however a data review in 2019 indicated that both the geophysical and geochemical datasets could be significantly improved.
Whilst a high level of geological understanding exists, new learnings are still coming to light, reinforcing the need to keep an open mind for upcoming exploration. A good example is that historically, the Magdala mine yielded all gold production from the western flank of the Magdala basalt dome and the eastern flank was considered to be uneconomic.
The eastern flank of the Magdala dome was effectively written off as targets and were not comprehensively drill tested until SGM began work in February 2018. SGM successfully discovered significant gold mineralisation alongside exploration development of the eastern flank in April 2018 with first gold poured in January 2019. The mine now sources the majority of its gold production from this zone which was previously considered to be uneconomic.
Historically in regional exploration work, drilling was focused on the western flanks of targeted domal structures using the Western Magdala dome as the model. With the new Magdala mine east flank understandings, NSM intends to broaden targeting opportunities of interpreted domes in the exploration leases, effectively doubling the exploration footprint.